Kerala

Coronavirus | Kerala calls for avoiding overcrowding at Sabarimala

Considering the COVID-19 pandemic situation in Kerala, the State Health Department has issued an advisory emphasising the importance of restricting the number of pilgrims and preventing crowding during the coming Sabarimala pilgrimage season, so as to prevent a potential spread.

The advisory points out that religious congregations and church choirs have led to major superspreading events of COVID-19 in the West and that it was imperative that people do not congregate even temporarily at Nilakkal or Pampa.

The number of pilgrims will be strictly limited, according to the government directives. Pilgrims and others accompanying them, such as drivers or cooks, are expected to maintain all COVID-19 safety protocols. Maintaining physical distancing as far as possible, avoiding crowded and closed spaces and frequent handwashing/sanitising are a must.

Pulmonary fitness

The government has also advised people who have had a recent exposure to COVID-19 to avoid the pilgrimage. People who have recovered from COVID-19 will have to undergo a graded exercise programme and pulmonary rehabilitation spread over weeks to ensure physical fitness before attempting to go on the trek to Sabarimala.

As it is possible that there could be pilgrims who have had an asymptomatic infection earlier, pulmonary and cardiac fitness is desirable for all pilgrims, it has been pointed out.

All pilgrims will have to produce a COVID-19 negative certification taken 24 hours prior to reaching Sabarimala.

As the rapid antigen test is not foolproof, a negative antigen test should not be seen as an excuse not to wear masks or maintain physical distancing.


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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 4:08:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kerala-govt-calls-for-avoiding-overcrowding-at-sabarimala/article33053545.ece

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